AFP: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that the foreign exchange reserves of sanctions-hit Iran were higher than the World Bank’s estimate of 100 billion dollars.
TEHRAN (AFP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that the foreign exchange reserves of sanctions-hit Iran were higher than the World Bank’s estimate of 100 billion dollars.
“They say that the foreign exchange reserves of the country are estimated to be 100 billion dollars, but in fact they are definitely more than this figure,” the website of Ahmadinejad’s office quoted him as saying at a seminar in Tehran and referring to estimates by the World Bank.
Last week Iranian media reported that central bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani had said that the World Bank estimated Iran’s foreign exchange reserves to be at 100 billion dollars.
Iran has refrained from giving the exact figure of how much reserves it has amid tightening international sanctions.
The last official figure of the reserves was released in February 2008 when the central bank said they stood at 76.1 billion dollars.
“We imported hundreds of tonnes of gold when its price was at an average of 656 dollar per ounce,” Bahmani said at the seminar in Tehran on Saturday.
“Today its global price has gone up to 1,230 dollars (per ounce). Given the current situation, billions of dollars have been added to the country’s foreign exchange reserves.”
He said the reserves were brought into the country “to avoid being seized by other countries due to sanctions.”
Bahmani boasted that the nation’s reserves indicated that Iran could not be isolated by sanctions.
“How can you isolate us in this condition given the fact that Iran is one of the major exporters of oil in the world and has massive gas reserves?.”
Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions and several unilateral punitive measures from individual countries such as the United States, and the European Union for pursuing its controversial nuclear programme.